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Young Professionals Celebrate Saving Time and Increasing Efficiency with an IFT Concierge Membership

Jared Henderson joined Eagle Foods last year, leading a small team focused on the company’s snack and canned-milk categories. But just a few months into the job, Henderson learned that Eagle planned to acquire two iconic brands—Hamburger Helper and Suddenly Salad—catapulting him and his team into entirely new areas and requiring them to pivot quickly.

“All of a sudden, we needed to learn as much as possible about our new brands and the meal-solutions category,” says Henderson, the company’s senior director of research and development. “We needed to research ingredients new to our portfolio and find vendors who were completely out of our network.” 

Lucky for him, help was at his fingertips. Eagle is an IFT Concierge Member, a fully customizable membership option established to help companies innovate and save time by providing streamlined access to resources—from research studies to vendors to subject area experts. Concierge Members enjoy personalized help from a Technical Concierge who swiftly curates and packages scientific information and steers groups toward the expert knowledge they need. They also receive an exclusive invitation to monthly educational Lunch and Learns and access to a comprehensive content library, available 24/7, while maintaining all the benefits of an IFT Premier Membership.  

For Henderson, the process was simple and astonishingly fast: “I sent an email with a list of questions to IFT’s Concierge and literally the next day I got an email back with a long list of suggestions, including information about expert vendors in the area of alternative proteins and proteins used in meal solutions. It was like magic.” 

“Getting into new categories requires understanding a lot about new vendors, new ingredients, and new capabilities,” Henderson adds. “Without IFT’s help, it would have taken us twice as long.” 

Henderson says he initially advocated for Eagle to join IFT as a Concierge Member to “increase resources without adding head count.” But as his team has tripled in size, the membership has grown with them. Henderson has now embarked on plans to build a dedicated research and development center at Eagle, and he says the company’s Concierge Membership has provided time-saving assistance each step of the way. 

“The IFT Concierge team put me in touch with other companies that have built R&D centers to ensure we are looking at the best designs and understanding the needs that a growing team will face,” Henderson says. “This was really unique and went above and beyond.”

Concierge Membership has also been an indispensable resource for startups, says Sydney Robertson, senior culinary research and development associate at the direct-to-consumer company Daily Harvest, which specializes in organic, gluten-free, and plant-based foods. Robertson recalls a time when her team hit a roadblock while exploring the development of a new product that “checked all the boxes” and met the company’s standards for healthful ingredients.

“Our Concierge Membership connected us to a subject matter expert, and that conversation really got the light bulbs going and lead ultimately to saving us a lot of money, time, and resources.” 

Robertson adds that Daily Harvest’s employees—many of them young in their careers—have also benefited from Concierge Membership’s professional development opportunities. The program’s monthly Lunch and Learns, for example, have facilitated chances for her and her coworkers to dialogue with experienced science of food professionals in an informal setting. “The ability to connect with an unlimited network of industry members who have much more knowledge than we do has been absolutely invaluable,” she says. 

On the fence about obtaining a Concierge Membership for your team? Robertson says you shouldn’t be. “Definitely do it,” she says. “It eliminates a lot of the legwork when solving a difficult problem, and it’s a great resource for your employees to develop themselves and grow in their roles. Your Concierge knows everything that IFT has to offer and gets you what you need—at the time that you need it.”

Learn more about the all the benefits an IFT Concierge Membership delivers—and get your company signed up today! Ready to start the process? Contact Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Analytics Jonas Moskowitz at [email protected] or complete this form to request a call.  

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